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Pecole

Leica M1 without M1

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On Monday last, 16th of November, I published a thread with the same title for MD : "Leica MD without MD". I went on investigating and, as confimed by Luigi Crescenzi, noted that most of the serials were registered in Laney's listings under M1. I went thus to "M1" in my archives and discovered I had in my collection a Leica M1 serialled 979697 that lacked not only type engraving, but the recess for same that appeared on "normal" M1, the viewfinder/telemeter windows and the flash sockets. Hereunder are the photos: it may not be a prototype for a Post model, since all Post examined to date have an internal image counter type M3. Comments, please.

  

 

And now, for comparison, the photos of a "normal M1".

 

 

 

 

Edited by Pecole

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So... similar (identical ?) to the 979732 you displayed in the other thread ... probably "test cameras" ... Laney says that "MD1s with the top cover of MD do exist" ... Van Hasbroek displays a later "regular" M1 (VF - front writing - 1040xxx) but without the "M1" writing on top...  

Probably at Leitz they were uncertain if as a standard production "lab" camera it was better to have or not the costly VF,.. (and infact Van Hasbroek  displays also a proto M1 - marked as such but without s/n - without VF... but with a top that resembles a IG); maybe (apart the special order cameras - "Post" etc) they decided the final setup of the M1 considering as an added value the fact that, as is, is rather simple to convert it to M2, so that they could list the conversion as a standard item at a reasonable cost (but I haven't a catalog which lists this conversion - it's just quoted in some books..)

Edited by luigi bertolotti

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First, Luigi, I want to apologize for having confused your name with the one of my other friend Crescenzi. I only realized when reading again what I wrote after reading your comment. I also apologize - pure laziness this time - for not having open van Hasbroeck, Lager and others. My very limited research confirmed at least that the origin of the Post cameras is definitely not to be investigated on the side of the MD/M1.

Remains the problem of these strange cameras, even not quoted as such in the available lists of numbers/models. Here, I fully agree with your comment/supposition : Leitz' uncertainty on what the market could better accept.

Many thanks for  your comments (logical and documented, as usual)!

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Here are three M1's for consideration. All have the viewfinder and the M1 mark in the rangefinder window. The earliest is 950095 from the first lot which was reportedly taken out on Feb. 26, 1959. Perhaps one of the first 100 (null series??).  1959 was a good year as some 3300 M1's were made. Also shown are 956929 from the fourth lot of serials taken out. And lastly 1040450 from a lot started on Sept. 9, 1961. As the rewind button was replaced with the lever at serial at 966730 we see that on this camera.

I believe that 9650 M1's were made and all were chrome except for 208 made with Olive finish. The ones with button rewind are less common with an estimated 1515 made vs. about 7927 for the lever.The final lot of 100 was opened in Jan. 1965. The number of M1's subsequently upgraded to M2 or M3 is uncertain to me, and M1's without viewfinder windows that might have been prototype MD's, or perhaps were M1's with damaged top plates that were factory replaced with MD top plates is yet awaiting more information. (IMHO). Reportedly, all M1"s were accepting of leicavit and motor drive.

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Gosh... I'm surprised... frankly I had supposed that M1s had also the "M1"  engraved on top in the usual location... I was wrong in my assumption  (never had one..🙄) and didn't check before writing... sorry : it's clear that is normal that it is not on the top...

(btw... it confirms my vague hipotesis about upgrade to M2... it's easy to remove the "cap" on the RF small window... and engrave "M2" on top... on the contrary, obliterate the "1" and re-engrave "2" at its place should have been less easy and clean... 😉)

 

 

Edited by luigi bertolotti

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The Leica M1

The Leica M1 camera,  was introduced in 1959 at serial number 950001, it was basically intended for use with the Visoflex housing and for scientific and industrial applications.
Production ended in 1964 at number 1102900.after 9650 issues (including 208 olive green paint models for the military)
The M1 is basically an M2 body but without the coupled rangefinder or delayed action and with only two frame line finders for 35 & 50 mm focal lengths incorporated in the viewfinder and automatically adjusted for parallax correction.
The model designation is engraved on an insert in the blanked off rangefinder window.
The M1 will accept the Leicavit rapid wind base without modification.
Early models had a button rewind but this was changed to a lever at serial number 966730.

Codeword KOOCT, catalog number 10125M.

Illustrated the first model button rewind with an Elmar 3.5/50 red dot painted and respective sunshade ITOOY narrow band, original box first model, inspectors certificate and instruction in brief booklet.

Second model, lever rewind, illustrated with an Elmar 2.8/50, red plastic glued dot and respective sunshade ITOOY large band, original box second  model, objectives catalogue and instruction in brief booklets, respectively printed in German and in English

Though having not the coupled range finder ,  it has for parallax adjustment,  this unusual  lever with a round shaped shoe.

 

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Pierre, after I noticed a few of the M camera's without viewfinder (or rangefinder) I read your own articles in Viewfinder 31 (1, 1998) and in Vidom 72. I published some thoughts about these camera bodies in Vidom 115 (2018), and Georg Mann and Dirk Mann wrote a follw-up on that in Vidom 117 (2019). Among several examples they publised also an M1 without viewfinder, which is almost similar to the examples that I described as 'M without viewfinder', but the interesting thing is that on that specific camera the engraving 'M1' is found on top of the body.

Lex

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